Stay with me, don’t disappear
To tell the truth, I need you here
I’m afraid, I can barely breath
I need your words, to comfort me
Say goodnight, would you say goodnight?
Goodnight ~ Cher Lloyd
After Damon walked out, I stood still at the bar staring into the bottle of scotch I had started pouring before I let my fear take over and threw the bottle across the room. It crashed and broke, causing its contents to spray over everything in its vicinity. Jasper and Emmett didn’t say anything, just watched me as I worked to get myself together.
Jasper helped a little with my permission before he went out to talk to Damon. While they were gone, Emmett tried to cheer me up by telling me what I missed after we had left the Grill. “So, Jazzman told the others his opinions of them and gave his customary warning. Then that Bonnie chick went all weird. Kinda reminded me of Alice and babbled about her Gran and letting shit happen with you. Her friends weren’t happy about that, but whatever. I think she’s kinda cool and probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to try to be friendly with her.”
“She’s a Bennett witch. I doubt she’d ever be willing to be friends with us,” I muttered, glancing at the door that led to the outside. I fought the urge to go and check on Damon, knowing that Jasper was more than capable.
“So? I know she doesn’t trust you but I think it’s more because she doesn’t know you. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a chance,” Emmett shrugged, clearly upset. I smiled sadly at him because it was just who he was. He wanted to be friends with everyone but he was too blind at times about who the enemy could be.
Sighing, I took the glass I had originally poured for Damon and downed it in a single gulp. “Do you know where my brothers are?” I asked suddenly, realizing that both Elijah and Nik weren’t around at all.
“They went out. Didn’t say where,” he shrugged. “So – Damon seems cool. I like him.”
I couldn’t help but to smile before wanting to cry again. I felt his arms come around me as he held me close trying to calm me down. “Shhh, it’s okay. He cares for you. That much is obvious. Don’t worry about all this right now. He just needs a moment. It’s a lot of change and just needs time to let it sink in. I think you just overwhelmed him with your little ultimatum there though. You may not have actually said the words, but the impression you gave was you or the ghost of a bitch he thought he cared about.”
Shaking my head I pushed him away so that I could do something to harm him. “I need to know that there isn’t anything left behind in him after Katherine. I’m sure you can understand the need to protect myself if he takes off on me.”
Emmett stared at me sadly. “Bella. That man is crazy about you. That much was clear to me and he barely said anything. Everyone may think me to be an idiot but I only act like one because that’s what they want to see. I’m pretty sure that’s why he acts like an ass to his friends. It’s easier that way and a lot of the time, you learn more about what’s going on when people are ignorant of who you really are. You know this yourself about how you acted around the Cullens.”
I did know what he meant. Sighing, I fell into the armchair closest to me and put my head in my hands. “What am I supposed to do then?”
“You just wait for him to come to his senses. He will, I can promise that much,” he smiled reassuringly. I wish I could believe him though. “Come on now. I’ll get you a blood bag to snack on and you go wait upstairs. Maybe take a nap until he comes around.”
Nodding, I waited for him to come back and headed upstairs. I took a moment to watch Jasper and Damon out my window, fear coursing through me again at the expression on his face. I felt Jas’ attempt to reassure me but pushed it away. I didn’t want to be comforted by anyone but the man that held my future in his hands.
While I waited, I worked to distract myself not knowing how long they would be. Spending as long as I could under the shower, until the water ran cold, allowed me time to calm down and the water to wash away much of my anxiety. Shutting down my thoughts, I just went about normal routines of changing and brushing my hair. I sat on the bench for so long that my hair was mostly dry when I saw Damon in my mirror.
He looked so sad that I couldn’t handle it and started to cry for my loss. It wasn’t until I heard three little words in his attempt to sooth me that I allowed myself to hope.
“What did you say?” I repeated, still stuck in disbelief.
“I love you,” he finally said after much teasing and tormenting my already frayed nerves. “I mean it and I’m sorry for walking out the way I did. I can’t promise I won’t hurt you in the future. I know I’ll make mistakes and piss you off, but I’ll always come back. That I can promise you.”
My tears exploded as he held onto me, letting me cry and get everything out that I’d been holding in the last few hours. By the time my eyes dried, we were curled up on the floor, leaning against my bed as he just held me. He repeated the words that we shared over our night together and that morning, making sure that I knew very well just what I meant to him.
I must have fallen asleep at some point because when I woke up, I was dressed in the silk shirt that Damon had worn that day and he was beside me in bed without one on. Pulling the fabric up to my nose to breath it in, I smiled as his scent covered me. Slowly, I moved closer to run my hand through his hair and he stirred only enough to bury his face deeper into my pillows with a smile on his face. I assumed that the emotional roller coaster we were on earlier wiped him out just as much so I slipped out from under the covers and made my way downstairs.
Smiling, I found Jasper and Emmett in a familiar situation as they sat before the television playing video games. What was odd with the scene was Nik watching on entertained by the two. He was the first to see me, making me raise an eyebrow at his presence.
“Nice nap Kitten?” he smiled and pointed at my attire.
“Well enough I suppose. I knew that pursuing anything with him would be a difficult road,” I admitted with a shrug. “He’s worth it though so don’t you dare hurt him in any way because it will only hurt me Nik.”
He looked at me for a long minute and sighed. “I can’t promise anything. You know that. All I can do is promise to try not to hurt you. You know how much I wanted this curse to end and in doing so, I hurt my family.”
“And you won’t do that again. I will protect him with everything in me if I have to. That’s a promise,” I said firmly. He knew very well that I would to because I could see the flash of fear in his eyes at what I could be capable of considering I was the only one of us that inherited Mother’s witch abilities. The only thing about my limitations at the moment is because I refused to have anything to do with that side of myself, but I would learn to protect those I love.
“Very well. Shall we anticipate seeing more of Damon Salvatore around here more?” he fished as he avoided my eyes.
“Possibly. Probably. I will likely spend just as much time by him as well. Or we’ll find our own place if need be. I just have to figure out what to do with the doppelganger. She pissed me off this morning acting like she had any kind of claim over Damon.”
Nik smirked as he sipped his drink. “I do love a good cat fight. Be sure to let me know when it finally comes to blows so that I can get a front row seat Kitten. The child could use a good lesson in manners.”
“No shit,” Jasper added. “She was raging with jealousy at Bella.”
I narrowed my eyes on him as I thought about it more. She didn’t appear anything but curious last night, though I was kind of stuck on her looking like Katherine. “What else did you pick up on them? I need to know what I’m dealing with so that I can protect Damon from whatever trouble they could cause.”
He was hesitant about it as he hated speaking on the emotions of others because they were something intensely personal. That was what made him so much better than Edward because he tried to cross the unseen boundary while Edward seemed to think he was entitled just because he could hear a person’s thoughts. “Like I said, she was jealous. She doesn’t like your dedication to him so I could see her causing trouble for your relationship. Stefan seemed genuinely happy for you two, but he has his reservations that I didn’t ask about. He admitted to not trusting you, as did the witch. While we were there, she got a message from one of her ancestors about allowing you two to happen. I think they anticipate something from your relationship for one of your natural enemies to permit something like that.”
That only confused me. “What would us being in a relationship matter to the witches?”
“I don’t know and I’m pretty sure their witch friend doesn’t either,” Jasper admitted. He stood up and walked over to us as he thought more. “Is there anywhere you know of that might have histories of the supernatural? Curses, prophecies, anything of the like?”
I shook my head lost as to where to even begin while Nik looked intrigued at where he might be going. “Each race has their own stories, and things are often compartmentalized. It’ll be difficult, if not next to impossible, to get any information worth while without actually having a witch to make contact with their spirits,” he explained.
“That doesn’t even hint as to why the witches are into my being with Izabelle,” Damon’s voice spoke up from the doorway. I turned to find him leaning against the frame as he smiled at me. “I mean come on! Just about everyone in our world hates me. It’s not like its a surprise. I was always a dick, and I’ll always be a dick!”
“But you’re my dick now,” I pointed out with a smirk.
He nodded. “Touche. So what is it about us that the hocus pocus brigade is interested in? What makes us different is the question. The only thing I could think of is that you’re an original.”
“An original with witch blood,” Nik clarified making Damon scowl at him. I narrowed my eyes on him as he smiled back maliciously. “You and I do not have to like one another but for my sister’s sake, we do have to get along. At least in her company.”
“Nik, I don’t care how big your dick is so there is no need to measure it against my boyfriend’s,” I sighed, pushing him back to give space between the two. I rubbed my temple as I could feel a headache coming on. “Regardless, Damon, he’s right. I am the only one of us that got Mother’s witch abilities.”
The guys, except for Nik, all looked confused at what it could mean making me rather irritated. “I may have been around for a very long time, but I have never explored that side of my history. I’ve been – too afraid of it. I don’t know if the witch spirits respect that I fear it or what, but it does mean that there is the potential there for a lot of power. Power I don’t particularly want. Hell, I’m surprised that the binding spell that Emily Bennett performed on me still is holding.”
“Wait – what?” Damon questioned as Nik spoke as well.
“What binding spell?”
Both of them looked a combination of bewildered and annoyed. Huffing, I crossed my arms defensively. “Part of the spell that made me partly human while I worked to control my blood lust and emotional instability, she also bound the witchy side for me. While I was – ill, it was for the best that I didn’t try to use that kind of magic. It was rather weak, but it held me together. I could still feel it in a way,” I explained as I stared at my feet just to avoid their prying eyes. I really needed a pedicure…
Nik came over and pulled me into a hug, knowing that I needed the kind of comfort only he could give as he often felt the same way with him wolf side. “How about I take you out for the afternoon? It has been a long time and we could catch up,” he suggested. I let out a laugh as Damon scoffed, offended at my brother’s desire to pull my attention from him.
“That sounds good actually,” I agreed. Looking at Damon, I raised an eyebrow challenging him to go against my spending time with my family.
He glared back with a twinkle in his eye. “That’s quite alright sugar lips,” he replied with a casual shrug. “Your boys and I will just go hang out at my place and get to know one another better while you’re out.”
Just from the look in his eye, he knew that I knew, that he was up to something. I wouldn’t have him any other way. “Just make sure it doesn’t involve any blood shed,” I warned as I passed him on the way out of the room so that I could get ready.
He flashed an innocent ‘who me?’ expression and gave me a kiss in parting. “Have fun,” he said. “Don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do!”
I laughed as I turned around but continued backwards. “So you want me to fuck any hot guy with a big dick that I come across?”
Damon scowled. “You know that isn’t what I meant. Since when have you been so brazen?”
“Since I meant you lover,” I smiled sweetly. “Are we staying at the boarding house tonight?”
He shrugged decided to follow me back to my room. “We’ll see. It really depends on Elena I think. At the very least, we can stay at the inn or something. Maybe find a nice spot in the woods? You still are a nature girl, aren’t you?”
“I am not going to have dirt and dead leaves messing up my hair and finding its way into areas of my body meant for other things,” I complained. “I know the doppelgangers tend to run pretty similar to their previous versions, but for you and Stefan to consider dipping your dicks in that gene pool a second time, she had to have been different in some way but all I saw was a bitch.”
Damon waited until we were back in my room and closed the door before throwing himself backwards onto my bed. He was quiet as he stared up at the canopy. “You’re right. She wasn’t always like that. Parts of the story I can understand her bitchiness. Hell, I’ve provoked it enough myself. It only got worse after she transitioned. Unfortunately for me it was my blood in her body when she died and with my shitty luck, I tend score sire bonds with the mentally deranged.”
“How that fuck did that go?” I was incredulous because a sire bond was rare. Even more for it to strike more than once with the same vampire making me believe that he was just that more special. I only wish he could have been mine in that way. My blood creating him.
“How the fuck do you think? Stefan had been trying to get her to try eating Peter Cottontail but she kept throwing it up. She couldn’t even handle bagged blood. Stefan figured it out that it was worse after I would tease her about going the natural route and drink from the source. I tested it out, and sure enough. After I told her I wanted her to try the bagged blood, she took it with no problem. I’m starting to think that I may need to kill her brother again for her to hate me enough to break it that way. It’s a thought.”
I glared at him before flashing to sit on top of him as I slapped the shit out of his pretty face. “What kind of idiot are you! Why would you do something like that?!”
He had thrown his arms up defensively, trying to keep from me causing any actual damage. “The kid is alive! Fuck, he doesn’t know how to stay dead for long anyway but I was seriously fucked up when I did it. I was just so pissed at getting shot down by Elena, right after I found out that my entire relationship with Katherine was a giant lie!”
“I told you that! Repeatedly!” I screamed at him.
“I know! But it’s a little different hearing it from her mouth!” he snapped. Shoving he off of him, he quickly began pacing the length of the room and back. I could almost feel the anger rolling off of him and knew it wasn’t directed at me. “I was just so angry at them and felt so alone that I didn’t care anymore. I was this close to turning it off again,” he said pinching his fingers together to emphasize his point before calming down. “I don’t fucking know what stopped me that night.”
I couldn’t help but wonder that myself. He hesitated for a reason and I just continued to study him. “Whatever the reason, I’m glad you didn’t flip it off. Now let’s get off the serious shit now and take a shower so that we can get on with the day so that you and I can find our way back into your bed sooner.”
He turned and eyed me for a long moment. I knew I had him when his eyes brightened to the most brilliant shade of blue. Bright and clear like the sky. His lips pulled back into that smirk and my body just knew that this was going to be a long shower.